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1 neilk  Mon, Jul 15, 2013 2:46:26pm

Trayvon Martin was not attempting to advance the cause of civil rights while he walked through the public streets to his home, so I really don’t think it’s helpful to impose the philosophy of civil disobedience on his actions that night. Perhaps if you were making a broader point about how in America in 2013, even walking through your own neighborhood at night is a political act for black youth, but it doesn’t seem that you are.

2 gwangung  Mon, Jul 15, 2013 4:10:16pm

i dont think Dr. King would think that way at all.

3 Larry A. Herzberg  Mon, Jul 15, 2013 4:20:08pm

re: #1 neilk

Trayvon Martin was not attempting to advance the cause of civil rights while he walked through the public streets to his home, so I really don’t think it’s helpful to impose the philosophy of civil disobedience on his actions that night. Perhaps if you were making a broader point about how in America in 2013, even walking through your own neighborhood at night is a political act for black youth, but it doesn’t seem that you are.

As far as I can tell, MLK’s philosophy of non-violence was not limited to the behavior of demonstrators, but was rather entirely general, growing out of his Christian values.

Note around 1:20 in the video I just posted: “One of the first principles of non-violence is a willingness to be the recipient of violence while never inflicting violence on another.”

4 cinesimon  Mon, Jul 15, 2013 5:52:31pm

Wa?
This is weird.
Much of the ‘liberal’ commentary I have seen - by far the majority - is discussing the problem with laws like Floridas: not Stand Your Ground, but with the actual self defense laws. TPM had a defense attorney email in about this, and it’s pretty much what I’ve seen being critiqued and discussed:
——————————————————————————————————-
I’m a criminal defense lawyer in Wisconsin, but I’ll tell you my reaction to the Zimmerman verdict today. I’ve had friends in Florida asking for my take. I haven’t watched the trial very closely (it seems like an ordinary criminal case to me in many respects). But I was astounded that the defense would put on a “self-defense” argument without the defendant testifying. In most civilized jurisdictions, the burden is on the defense to prove, at least more likely than not, that the law breaking was done for reasons of self-defense. I couldn’t figure out how they could do this without the defendant’s testimony. I got curious and read the jury instructions Friday night and, I was wrong. In Florida, if self-defense is even suggested, it’s the states obligation to prove it’s absence beyond a reasonable doubt(!). That’s crazy. But ‘not guilty’ was certainly a reasonable result in this case. As I told in friend in Tampa today though, if you’re ever in a heated argument with anyone, and you’re pretty sure there aren’t any witnesses, it’s always best to kill the other person. They can’t testify, you don’t have to testify, no one else has any idea what happened; how can the state ever prove beyond a doubt is wasn’t self-defense? Holy crap! What kind of system is that?
———————————————————————————————————
This idea that liberals have been conflating the moral, causal and legal issues, is only true if YOU conflate their discussions about society with their discussions about he Trayvon Martin case.
Your claimed understanding of what liberal bogs and commentators(this is all with the presumption that there are only two ideologies/teams in the debate, which I disagree with)have been discussing this case seems to be either contrarian wishful thinking, or you just haven’t looked at many liberal blogs. I don’t mean to sound too combative , but I see this kind of caricaturing of liberal blogs all the time - and it just seems lazy to me. It’s part of the same old media attempt to suggest that both ‘liberals’ and ‘conservatives’ are as bad as each other - both sides do it and all that.
Regardless of the empirical evidence.
This new kind of political correctness gives so much license to be dishonest - and it gives legitimacy to the resurgent and proud sociopathy of the right.

Oh - and please show us where MLK says that somebody walking back from the store to home is relevant at all to his theories regarding organized protest. That people should not defend themselves when they are in a totally different context to the one which MLK is talking about. TRAYVON MARTIN WAS NOT ENGAGED IN A CIVIL RIGHTS MARCH!
And to suggest in any way that he was the aggressor, rather suggests that you’ve fallen for the right wing/defense argument. Which is patently bogus.

5 cinesimon  Mon, Jul 15, 2013 6:04:23pm

re: #3 Larry A. Herzberg

“Note around 1:20 in the video I just posted: “One of the first principles of non-violence is a willingness to be the recipient of violence while never inflicting violence on another.” “

Oh for goodness sake. You don’t seriously suggest that. Really?
He wasn’t talking about demonstrations when he said “never”? He was talking about life as a whole?
I’m sorry but that is just a bizarre take. You’ere taking that one word right out of the context of the discussion.

6 Larry A. Herzberg  Mon, Jul 15, 2013 6:16:27pm

re: #4 cinesimon

Wow, that was a pretty emotional reaction, cinesimon. Just goes to show that liberals can be as knee-jerk against criticism as conservatives!

First, of course I’m not characterizing every liberal view on every liberal blog with a one sentence “consensus” statement. I’m talking about liberal “pundits” in the mainstream media, who have not been focusing on self-defense laws (and I’m not defending those laws). They’ve been implying that the jury’s verdict was unjust from a broader moral point of view (which I don’t deny), and the need to address racism in our society, etc., but largely ignoring the facts presented to the jury and the laws that they had to consider.

Not that it matters, but I’m a liberal who believes that liberals should criticize themselves as a group. If anything makes us better than conservatives, it’s our willingness to criticize each other’s views, using reason and logic. If you deny that liberals are beyond rational criticism, then YOU create the equivalence you think I’m implying. [Sorry for the capitalized ‘you’, but you started it].

7 Larry A. Herzberg  Mon, Jul 15, 2013 6:26:20pm

re: #5 cinesimon

Yes, I don’t think that MLK’s non-violence and non-retaliation philosophy was limited to demonstrations in the least.

But the main point, in any case, is not about MLK, but whether Trayvon Martin could have acted in a way that would have defused the situation (given what we know about it), and whether that could have saved his life, despite his being the victim of injustice. Shouldn’t parents try to educate their children on ways of defusing tense situations? I think MLK’s advice to demonstrators is very good general advice for everyone in such situations, regardless of whether he thought so or not (and, unless you can cite some speech where he recommended violence even outside of demonstrations, I’ll continue to argue that he did think so).


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